This book is both a study of the wider presence of the whaling industry in Newfoundland and Labrador between 1898 and 1972, and a comprehensive case study of the ‘Ellefsen Papers’ and the Aquaforte whaling station. Aquaforte was the only entirely Norwegian-owned factory in Newfoundland at the turn of the century, and one of the only whaling companies to retain all company records, making it an invaluable resource for maritime historians. The archive consists of business transactions, operations details, personal letters, photographs, wage accounts, equipment lists, and product information. The journal introduces the Aquaforte station in the context of global whaling, then traces the business history of the Ellefsen family, and then covers in detail the short history of Aquaforte, from its inception in 1898 to its collapse in 1908 due to stock exploitation. A postscript details both the family’s return to Norway and the whaling cycles in Newfoundland and Labrador post-Aquaforte, between 1908 and 1972, when the Canadian government placed a moratorium on whaling. The book reproduces numerous maps, photographs, lists, and tables. It concludes with a bibliography and six appendices providing relevant whaling industry statistics.
October 18, 2017
Research in Maritime History 20